7 Common Goal Setting Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s now look at what not to do when setting your goals, as we look at a few common goal setting mistakes to avoid.
- Not making them SMART. If you don’t make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Based, you are creating a dream, not a goal. Having a dream is great. Having a goal allows you to bring your dreams into reality.
- Not writing them down. You thought about it, planned it in your head but didn’t actually write down your goals. Not writing them down keeps them as a vague notion of something you’d like. I’m afraid to say, this is something I’ve definitely been guilty of and have created many a grand plan in my head, and left it there. Needless to say, when I do this it doesn’t get me anywhere.
- Keeping them hidden. If you never look at your goals again after you’ve written them down, it’s difficult to keep them in focus. So make a plan and a conscious decision to review them regularly – whether daily, weekly or monthly. Keep referring back to your goals to keep on track. I like to put my goals somewhere I see them daily, and have been known to write on the mirror of my wardrobe or put a white board by the bedroom light switch, so I’m reminded of them each morning and night.
- Making them too easy. While it may sound counterintuitive, setting yourself a goal that’s too easy makes it quite difficult to reach. It’s hard to get motivated for something that’s easy. Set a goal that’s outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself. Stretch. Your sense of accomplishment will be even sweeter when you achieve a tough goal and you grow your comfortable world just that little bit bigger.
- Lacking flexibility. Setting a SMART goal clarifies what you want to achieve and kicks your Reticular Activating System into action, but you still need to allow a certain level of flexibility. Some flexibility will ensure you don’t lock yourself out of amazing opportunities that cross your path on your way to your goal, or better ways of reaching your goal that you hadn’t previously thought of.
- Waiting for ‘the right time’. The right time doesn’t exist. There will always be something else that needs to be done. Goal setting can be a bit overwhelming to start with so we keep putting it off and finding other things that ‘need’ to be done first. You may end up wasting months or years if you are waiting for the right time. So just start today. Start with a baby step and before you know it you’ll have goals that you’ll be putting into action.
- Not taking action. It’s all well and good to make a plan but if you don’t put it into action it’s just…. well, a plan. A plan without an action won’t get you anywhere. It certainly won’t get you any closer to reaching your goals.
I’m pleased to say, I took my own advice last week and created my own SMART goals for the coming year, both personal and professional, and wrote them down. I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself. I’ve even taken the first baby step towards putting them into action.
Now it’s over to you. What will you do to turn your goals into reality?